A pedestrian has died from injuries she sustained in an accident on State Road 45 in Bradenton in mid-January. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 54-year-old man was heading north on the highway at around 12:49 a.m. when he struck and killed a woman from Pennsylvania. It’s not yet clear if the driver will face criminal charges stemming from the fatal crash.
Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the nation for pedestrians, according to a 2015 report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. In fact, the rise in pedestrian fatality rates nationwide between 2014 and 2015 was the largest year-over-year increase since the 1970s. The report suggested that distracted driving was the most significant factor, although more awareness of the health benefits of walking may be resulting in more pedestrians overall.
Safety and liability issues for pedestrians
As a safety precaution, pedestrians should only cross the street at intersections and marked crosswalks whenever possible, and should always obey “walk” signs and other traffic laws. Motorists who strike pedestrians while they are crossing the street legally are almost always considered liable for the injuries they cause. But even if a pedestrian is crossing illegally, drivers are obligated to do whatever it takes to avoid hitting the person.
Pedestrian accidents tend to be very serious in nature, as people on foot have virtually no protection against the impact of a motor vehicle. Thus, the injuries that result from these collisions are often life-threatening.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Florida pedestrian accident, consult a dedicated Bradenton personal injury attorney with Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.